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According to the NCBI, the incidence of retained surgical objects after surgery is between 0.3 and 1.0 per 1,000 abdominal surgeries, and they take place due to lack of communication and organization between surgical staff during the procedure.

In most cases, the retained surgical objects are surgical instruments and sponges. With over 28 million procedures performed across the United States, it has been estimated that 1,500 cases of retained surgical instruments occur each year.

What is Involved in Retained Surgical Instrument Cases?

Retained surgical object is a term that refers to foreign objects or materials that are accidentally left behind inside a patient’s body after a surgical procedure. In cases of retained surgical instruments, more than two-thirds involve surgical sponges. However, it can also involve broken scalpel tips, suture needles, bits of tubing and other instruments.

This type of medical negligence or error is extremely problematic as patients often do not know that something is wrong until they start experiencing severe pain. At this point, the retained instrument has become infected and it is highly likely that the patient will require emergency surgery.

Who is Most at Risk for Retained Surgical Object?

It is not surprising that patients who undergo emergency surgeries are most at risk for developing complications as a result of retained surgical objects. However, it is important to keep in mind that even patients who have undergone routine procedures can develop this problem if the surgical team encounters complications that result in a chaotic surgical environment.

The majority of retained surgical object cases involve sponges left in patients who have had abdominal surgery. The vagina, thoracic cavity and pelvis are also common parts of the body where this type of medical error can occur.

According to some studies, patients that have a high BMI (body mass index) are more likely to be victims of retained surgical instruments. However, the exact reason for this is still unknown to date.

Is Retained Surgical Instrument an Example of Medical Malpractice?

Any case that involves retained surgical instruments falls under the category of medical malpractice. This is a subset of tort law that deals with personal negligence and refers to any conduct by a surgeon or any other medical professional that breaches the medical standard of care and results in harm to a patient.

Medical malpractice cases are complex, which is why victims of medical errors, including retained surgical objects, must find an attorney with experience in handling such cases. The process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is long and requires a lot of evidence in order to prove negligence on the part of the surgeon or other healthcare professional.

Get Expert Legal Assistance for Your Retained Surgical instrument Case

If you or a loved one has suffered complications due to a retained surgical instrument after a surgery, you should immediately seek the help of a fantastic and poignant medical malpractice lawyer. Contact us at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212-344-1000. Our legal professionals will make sure that your rights are protected and you recover maximum damages that you are legally entitled to.

You need RMFW Law on your side! We know how to win cases inside and outside of court. There is no reason to holler at the medical staff, the culprit is not even assigned to your case anymore. This is now a legal matter and the hospital is no longer on your side like it used to be but that is not the staff’s fault that is working with you now.

You need a medical expert to support your claim or you do not have one. It is that simple. Let’s get the ball rolling. Call us today!